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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine - Nimbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

93 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 93
Hads: 188
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 16
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nimbus Brewing Company visit their website
Arizona, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2002

Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is an exceptional example of a true, traditional-style English Pub beer. Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is medium bodied and possesses a distinct, dark roasted flavor. Its sweet malty taste is derived from liberal use of seven varieties of specialty malts and a touch of brown sugar. Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is dark in color, beginning with a slight caramel malt overtone and rounded with a relatively dry finish from its English Kent Goldings hops. The hops aroma is mildly subdued and the bitterness is just enough to balance the profile of this beer.

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is a true premium ale and is priced accordingly. We're so proud of this beer for its body, taste, alcohol content and drinking enjoyment, it may just become our signature beer. Be warned: its wonderful malty sweetness camouflages the 8.2% alcohol by volume content. It's a winner!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 188
Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So the contradiction right off the bat is "English style ale" and 8.2% abv, right? You're thinking mild, warming, malt-forward, but there's often an expectation of something "session-able" and then this thing comes in at 8.2% abv (sessionable to me, but I know that's wrong) - anyway - the sugars and abv are big enough that this could pass for an American brown ale if it were marketed as such - the Kent Goldings hops and the malt profile is English-enough, but the body, sugars, and abv American-ize it into something like an Imperial brown ale. I really liked it, and "English strong ale" is a nice catch-all category for it. Warm and smooth, some light toastiness, ample caramel and brown sugary cues; essentially mildly fruity, as of dates and browned fruits, mild, with a little caramel toffee. Super enjoyable and highly recommended, with the understanding it eludes simple categorization. If you like brown, sweet, and malty ales, this is terrific. (957 characters)

Photo of Dynobolt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had it at the silver saddle steak house in Tucson. Wasn't much of a selection there but the steaks were delicious! (Prime rib) nice color, head and lacing, went well with the steak. Easy drink as it went down smooth. (218 characters)

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Old Monkeyshine" seems a very apt name for this beer: right from the first whiff, it's clear that this beer is stodgy and rotund, bracing, bold, and robustly, wildly sweet, like dark, dank, slightly-rotted roof-beams.

The boozy elements of the bouquet are followed close on their heels by a distinct alcoholic, almost lacquer-like stridency—perhaps not so "camouflaged" as its expositional patter promises—but this is swallowed swiftly and thankfully by the strong-ale's other flavoring elements. Primarily, a distinct bitterness: coffee-grounds, oak, and burnt caramels that mellow into a smoother turbinado characteristic as Old Monkeyshine is sipped, becoming subsumed by the separate and subtle herbaceous bitterness produced out of the true-to-style old-blighty hop-varietal Nimbus employs.

And while I wouldn't say it's quite as dry as advertised, Old Monkeyshine—bracing at first—warms and worms its way around the drinker's tongue, charming one (helped by a surprisingly breezy, bubbly mouth-feel) into *almost* believing this beer might be sessionable. That's a dangerous deceit, given its several hefty traits, but it nonetheless allows for shining two or three of these without the palate feeling too sticky or stuck-in-the-mud. (1,252 characters)

Photo of DavidMumper
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big malt profile with hints of molasses and raisin. Mild alcoholic taste with good balance of Goldings hops. Not for the faint of heart, but I find it quite yummy. (163 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Random 12oz grab back in July in Flagstaff, AZ. Full review to notes last night.

A- Very dark Barleywine poured to a chalice from the stubby 12oz. A tan cap forms at one finger with frothy texture. Foamy belt around the top drops a large sheets as well as sparse spots of lace.

S- Fairly faint for the style. A bit of toasty with semi roast, deep caramel, raisin and dark candi sugar notes.

T- Opens up from the aroma just a bit here with a strange spicy bitterness and a hint of metallic feel. Fruitiness is apparent and it comes down as apple, white grape and raisin esters. Toasted, caramelized, dark crystal, nutty, semi burnt and a bit of sweetness from the mashed grains.

MF- Lies in the light side for Barleywines with a definite thin overall consistency. Carbonation at a medium level promoting a tiny bit of slick and foamy texture. Finishes with a light tart bitterness that doesn't suit the flavor.

Way too light bodied and lacking the rich flavors I look for in the style. Some definite off flavors with metallic and bitter fruity hints throwing off the malts and becoming a distraction. (1,104 characters)

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Pours deep dark garnet-brown with a significant creamy tan head

Aroma is light, malty and yeasty notes primarily.

Flavor is an amazing roasty toasty alcohol fueled mess. Sweetness is highly notable, perfectly balanced to the hoppy/roasty side. A little spice from the Goldings. Not terrifically complex, but a masterfully done biggish beer.

Body is robust, approaching the imperial stout range.

Far bigger beer than most browns, bordering on the imperial stout realm... not as black and balanced a little dryer. I'm kicking myself that I bypassed this one as often as I have in the past... damn good beer at an excellent price point. (637 characters)

Photo of TucsonJames
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think this beer is very understated. It starts out with hop notes and then complexly traverses an earthy porter finish. It is a fresh beer that could be drank year round as it is fresh, but also dark and could be appreciated in the winter time after a day working outside or by the campfire. (293 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A small head of off white foam on top of a clear, dark brown body. An aroma of toffee and musty hops. Dry, caramel and burnt toast with some molasses in the finish. Medium body, average carbonation, and a dry finish. Not bad, fairly bland but inoffensive. (255 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No head really on a deep amber brown clear body. No lace really. Aroma of breads, toasted malts, nuts, molasses and earthy hops. Flavor is also very toasty opening with nuts, toasted malts and earthy but finishing with brown sugar, caramel, rye . Medium body and moderate carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden. This one is flavorful and definitely one of the better of the style. (386 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a Pepsi brown with good head and lacing. Aroma is molasses with dark fruit. Taste is caramel, tobacco, dark fruit. Mouthfeel is little harsh, but nice dry finish. Alcohol is well hidden. I'm liking this better as it warms up - I bet it's really good on tap. Not a style that I'm typically interested in but I can see the appeal. (347 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Nimbus Brewery.

A: Pours a clear light brown-golden hue with a thin white lace that quickly dissipates leaving a decent lace.

S: Slightly fruity malt aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is a fruity malt flavor that finishes slightly dry.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: Decent English Strong Ale – lots of alcohol but blended in nicely with the malt. (396 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my new silipint.

A: Poured dark reddish-brown, with a proper, creamy tan head that lasted a good while and left good lacing. Coarse looking carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells like toasted sweet malt with hints of brown sugar and caramel.

Taste: Moderately strong flavor featuring dark malts with hints of dark fruits, caramel, and roasted nuts. Good sweet/bitter balance.

M: Medium-low carbonation works well for this full-bodied beer, Very smooth.

O: A flavorful English style pub ale with remarkably well hidden alcohol. Recommended. (573 characters)

Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an English style ale, so to all the other reviews; I personally expect some bittering to come out of it. Very happy to see this style from a local craft brewery, nice job!

Dark with minimal head, roasted malt and caramel, hint of licorice bittering after taste. High in alcohol but not syrupy or heavy at all.

Goes down real easy in spite of the high alcohol content, be careful! (390 characters)

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Sparkling deep maroon the color is pretty! no head no lacing

Aroma- clean melon fruityness, carmel apple leather.

Taste- boozy, maple, tobacco vanilla, carmel, slightly sweet and a little peppery. resiny vegetable hops. maybe its the fact that it is an english ale but i get just a hint of meaty "brown sauce" to it. Its not bad or off putting though, just English!

Mouthfeel- I think this is spot on for an english style ale. Slick warm and boozy. Not too fizzy or syrupy.

Overall- My favorite offering from nimbus, i would like to try this from a cask/beer engine or on nitro. I think it would compliment bread pudding, brie, mashed potatoes and game hen. Defiantly a good beer to nurse in a pub on a rainy day while watching cricket or rowing. (765 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Hazy dark bronze. Pretty fat messy off white head.
smell: butterscotch. very inviting, some dark fruit but butterscotch up front.
taste: quite different than the nose. Hint of butterscotch, not near as rich. Dry and slightly bitter finish.
overall: outstanding nose. A bit of a letdown after that. (309 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! Nimbus is back in Orange County. And I happened to find a bottle of Nimbus that I hadn't tried before. From a stubby 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

It's a gusher out of the bottle! Once that episode is over, we see a leather brown colored beer with an inch thick head and a few chunks of lace around the glass. The nose features toasted sugar, touches of pineapple, and brown sugar. Taste is somewhat fruity, features some pineapple and toasted sugar The firepower is acceptable, and the beer's alcohol is hard to find. The body is medium full with smooth carbonation that compliments the beer.

This is a mellow strong ale from Nimbus, and an acceptable one at that. (676 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some alcohol aromas. Taste is somewhat the same but there is a metallic flavor that overwhelms everything else. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer and not something I would seek out again. (526 characters)

Photo of charlzm
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed December 14th, 2012 from my trusty Triple Petrus tulip/snifter. The bottle is labeled April 2012, so the beer is between 8 and 9 months old.

Beer pours a ruddy caramel brown with deep garnet highlights. Almost no head despite a moderate pour. Small amount of sheeting.

Aroma is cinnamon and brown sugar with a touch of vanilla and molasses.

Flavor is fruity with an unfortunate note of cardboard oxidization. I'm going to blame the screw-off lid (what were you thinking, Nimbus, putting a beer meant to be aged in a screw-top bottle???) Dark candied fruits mingle with a touch of bready malt, followed by a bold, bitter finish. Some peppery spice and alcohol heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick.

Overall, a fine beer. Don't age it in the 12 oz bottle, though. (785 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, very darkened amber body with a half-inch-head head of beige foam.

Smell: Moderate toastiness, crunchy char, and a faint note of brown sugar. Some dark fruit, some aniseed, but more than one's fair share of alcohol.

Taste: Well-toasted malts dosed with dark brown sugar. Slight burnt malt edge in back. Slight earthy hop hint. A touch of date, then licorice growing into a larger, albeit ill-defined spiciness adjoining the heated alcohol quality until the finish. Not too much going on here, sadly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Lacks complexity, depth, and, more importantly, some much needed smoothness. For a second, I thought maybe some age would smooth it out, but I changed my mind. (816 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Mar 2011. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Smallish tan head. Well carbonated. Clear ruby brown in color. Aroma is roasty nuts with some toffee and cola. Fairly sweet and malty to start. Touch of cinnamon. Hazelnuts. Medium body, slightly warming ethanol. Flavor doesn't really linger, kind of washes out with a faint roasty bitterness at the end.

Finish is a bit disappointing but overall not bad. (423 characters)

Photo of merryjoulton
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty deep brown mahogany hue. Head basically doesn't exist. Maybe a little bit of brown foam but thats about it. Smells like deep roasted malts. Don't detect any fruit, citrus, pine or any hint of hops. Tastes exactly like it smells. Has a full and thick mouthfeel. Overall a good beer. No complexity, but no flaws either. Just a good beer. (350 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep amber/brown with a few bubbles (no head). smells of raspberries, grapes and caramel.. kind of has a funk to it - not much in terms of "standard beer characteristics" which is in no way a bad thing. very sweet tasting like a toffee/caramel, tastes like a cross between a barley wine/esb, very fruity (peaches, raspberry, grapes), heavy malt profile. feels medium bodied which throws me off a bit, i keep expecting it to be thicker with every sip i take.

a bit funky in taste/smell, which keeps the mystery throughout the glass, and keeps me drinking it trying to figure out the ingredients. very lightly carbonated and the mouthfeel keeps throwing me off! not a bad sipping beer at all, but i don't think i can handle more than one in a session. (758 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to stephenhawking for the bottle.

Pours a deep brown almost black with a small tan head that dissipates almost immediately.

Aroma is very malty with a little bit of raisin. Not many hops detectable here.

Taste follows the nose. Barely any hop presence and a big malt bill. Toasted malt hits up front, but there's a oxidized metallic finish that is off putting.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for something of this profile with medium-low carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. A few flaws with not a lot of complexity going on. (537 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Old Monkeyshine is a slightly turbid dark brown with a tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very malty, sweet and sour, with some earthy hops. Robust

Taste is similar, this is a classic English brown, x2. Nice balance though for the amplitude, the bitter hops and drying, clean alcohol temper the sweetness of the malt. Very nice, with a long, malty finish.

Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side, decent carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is my favorite Nimbus ale by a long shot, loads of character, flavor, yet still dangerously quaffable. I "monkeyed" around to much with their lesser offering before this! (680 characters)

Photo of uawildcat
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an English pub glass. Poured it too cold, so I let it warm up a little bit.

A: Dark brown, a tad bit cloudy with a little head. Leaves behind a nice white head with lacing. Nothing special, but I will give it 3.5 for the lacing.

S: Smells like toasty malt and bready yeast. Only comes out once the beer is warmed up.

T: Taste is out of this world. It tastes of dark fruits upfront with a strong raisin flavor behind a toasty, toffee-like, sweet malt flavor. Yum!

M: The low level of carbonation works well for this beer, it lets the flavor really come out. It goes down very smooth. However, I do wish there was a bit more carbonation. For the amount of flavor and sweetness it is not too thick, it is medium-bodied.

O: A very tasty beer that could be drank on its own. It could go with a burger or fish and chips. Nice job Nimbus, this beer rocks. (885 characters)

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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.